Hands On: Motorola DEFY, the ‘Lifeproof’ Android phone

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Motorola has launched the first strong, water resistant, Android phone: the Motorola DEFY.

Motorola was very keen for us not to use the term ‘rugged’ to describe this phone, being keen to avoid any association to heavy, bulky phones being used on building sites or carried by plumbers.

Instead, we were told that this phone is ‘Lifeproof’, although if you are going to put it to the test in some unsavoury conditions, it’s worth noting that it is given an International Protection Rating of IP67. This means it is designed to ensure there is no ingress of dust and can be immersed in liquid, at a depth of up to one metre. It also uses Gorilla Glass to add additional protection from bumps and scrapes. Sounds pretty rugged, sorry, lifeproof to us.

This phone is no low-end phone model either. There’s the same 3.7-inch, 854×480 pixel, LCD display from other Motorola models, along with a 5-megapixel camera and LED flash. Although only shipping with Android 2.1, there’s the addition of the 3G hotspot application to share your data connection with up to five devices connected via Wi-Fi.

Enhanced MOTOBLUR is included too, aggregating all of your social media content and email, adding to the new version included on the FLIPOUT and the Milestone 2 announced today. Like the Milestone 2, the DEFY will ship in Q4, in time for Christmas.

Powered by a TI OMAP 3610 processor, running at 800MHz, we found it hard to tell the difference in speed between this and the Milestone 2. Without the slide-out keyboard, the phone has a smaller footprint but is about the same thickness. For ease-of-use when entering text, Motorola has included Swype in addition to the normal Android keyboard.

We were shown two different versions of the DEFY, with an all-black model and one with a white surround. The casings are not user-changeable, and Motorola hinted to us that the most interest in the UK (from a network point of view) has been for the entirely black model.

Motorola hasn’t ruled out other colours being made available from individual networks, or as special editions in the future. Given the impressive specification, the phone is likely to be around for a while.

More info: www.motorola.com

Hands-On Photos

(In case you’re interested, Motorola registered DEFY as a trademark on July 29th 2010)

Official Press Release

BASINGSTOKE, September 1, 2010 – Motorola today announced DEFY™ enhanced with MOTOBLUR™. Motorola DEFY is a slim, pocketable Android™ smartphone that comes equipped with advanced Web-browsing capabilities and a 3.7″ high-resolution touch screen display that provides edge to edge views of your favorite photos, videos and websites.

“DEFY has been designed to handle everything that life throws your way,” said Alain Mutricy, senior vice president, portfolio and device product management, Motorola Mobility. “With all the features consumers expect in a smartphone, DEFY packs advanced web browsing, entertainment and messaging capabilities as well as a design that withstands the challenges of everyday life.”

Motorola DEFY is dust proof and water resistant protecting you from life’s little challenges like a sudden rain shower, spilt drink, or dropping your phone in the sand. It also features a large, resilient display that has outstanding protection against scratch damage. CrystalTalk® PLUS vanquishes noisy environments with two microphones which intelligently filter out background noise and amplify your voice so you don’t have to shout.

Motorola DEFY also features the latest version of Motorola’s unique solution, MOTOBLUR, which makes it even easier to manage all of your emails, messages and social updates in one easy place with the additions of filtering, resizable widgets, added corporate security and a versatile battery manager.

An Adobe® Flash® Lite® enabled browser and 3.7″ WVGA screen allow users to view more of the Web than standard browsers. Create your own entertainment with the 5-megapixel camera with flash, digital zoom and auto focus that lets users capture the best of their social life. DEFY is Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)-enabled to stream, store and share content with compatible devices around the home like HDTVs, game consoles and PCs.

The Connected Music Player brings song lyrics to your songs and enables you to discover, buy and download music, right from your phone. Choose from over 70,000 applications, widgets and games from Android Market™ and enjoy access to Google™ services including Google Search™, Google Maps™ and Gmail™.

Availability

DEFY will be available in Europe beginning Q4 2010.